Keely Froling knew she had to step outside her comfort zone when one of her best friends went down with an anterior cruciate ligament tear.
The Canberra Capitals Academy were dealt a cruel blow when Kate Gaze tore her ACL but 22-year-old Froling rose to the occasion – so much so that she is being touted as a SEABL most valuable player candidate.
Froling says "you can't" replace a Gaze, but she has taken on a bigger leadership role for a young Canberra outfit leading into their SEABL clash with Bendigo at Bendigo Stadium on Friday night.
"I try to [step up], obviously playing last year as well, I have tried to be a leader and help that. Now obviously with Gazey out I have tried a little bit harder and hopefully that has worked," Froling said.
"You cant really [replace Gaze] to be honest, with her presence on the court, her leadership and obviously her scoring ability but I think we have had other people step up.
"Cap [Sarah McAppion] has stepped up now Rosie [Schweizer], Abby [Cubillo] all our other little guards have stepped up and now it is more opportunity for them as well.
"As much as it hurts us it is an opportunity and it gives some of the younger girls an opportunity as well.”
Froling has been thrown into the mix as a possible league MVP in the midst of a stellar season and she is hoping to continue her form all the way into the WNBL season with the Canberra Capitals.
"I am feeling really confident really happy with how I am playing and also with my body I am feeling really strong and hopefully it does carry into WNBL and I think it will,” Froling said.
"It is awesome, I think SEABL is such a good competition, but it is good for me as well because I am doing a lot of off-season work in the gym and with [Capitals coach Paul Goriss] Gorry and individual stuff.
“That is really where I am testing it out in SEABL and it has been working really well so far so hopefully that carries into WNBL.”
The Capitals Academy are yet to register their first playoff berth but find themselves with a golden opportunity to break their drought this season.
“I think it would be awesome, obviously it would be the first one for the club so that would be a massive thing and just a real confidence boost and put us on the map for SEABL,” Froling said.
“[We can] show that we are a threat and that we are here to win games and we arent just in the competition to play.”
SEABL ROUND TEN
Friday: Bendigo Braves v Canberra Capitals Academy at Bendigo Stadium, 6pm
Saturday: Nunawading Spectres v Canberra Capitals Academy at Nunawading Stadium, 5:30pm
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